Michelle Newcome started How2Conquer originally as a publishing arm of her other companies for the purely selfish reason of wanting to have someplace to publish at least some of the 20,000 pages of content she’s created for clients. Of course, those pages are still waiting for work to slow down, and we know how that goes.
As Publisher, Michelle has the absolute honor of getting to greenlight projects. It’s a real joy to make that phone call letting someone know they’re about to be a published author. How2Conquer reflects Michelle’s core belief that all people have the ability and desire to learn, and no one is an idiot or a dummy. She began her career as a high school English teacher with a penchant for the unruliest students because they were the most interesting, even if they’d failed out of other teacher’s classes.
Michelle works closely with our authors to structure their books to maximize reader engagement. In addition to How2Conquer, Michelle is the CEO of White Deer Group and a security and crisis management consultant for Fortune 100 companies.
I taught myself: html – and I’m Gen X, so we basically had to teach ourselves everything! Html was my favorite though. When I was getting my Master of Fine Arts in Poetry, the internet was just in ascendence, and we could use html as our foreign language. The only catch was that there weren’t WYSIWYG editors, so it was lots of trial and error – on dial up even!
I like to imagine structural editing: like organizing a spice cabinet. You keep moving things around until you have the taxonomy and systems to the point where you can find anything without even looking.
Katherine Guntner joined How2Conquer as Editor in Chief in 2016, in part because she enjoys perfecting other people’s work, but mostly because she was intrigued by the potential range of interests that H2C books could represent. Currently, she has edited books on how to care for paralyzed dachshunds, anecdotes from the hospitality industry, breaking into corporate security (not literally), and how not to suck at marketing, among others.
Katherine mentors young adults and has often advised them to, regardless of what they are doing, strive to be the best at it. She also believes that the best way to learn something is to have to teach it to someone else. How2Conquer authors combine both philosophies – no matter how niche their interest is, they are the best at it AND they want to teach it to someone else, so they wrote a book.
Writing a book is hard work – if it wasn’t, everyone would do it. Katherine has huge admiration for anyone who has managed to put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) to finish a book, so she considers it a privilege to work with all our authors. She works behind the scenes to ensure our books professionally reflect what their authors are conveying, and also works directly with authors that need guidance or even just a little encouragement.
I taught myself: Pretty much everything I’ve ever learned. The internet is kind of like the Matrix – you just plug in and download what you need to know. It’s magic. (I do miss the days when I had to spend a couple of hours in the library to learn something. I have fond memories of my 5th grade social studies project, where I wrote to the state welcome center to ask for pamphlets of information on the capitol – because how else would you do it?)
I like to imagine: That I myself am an author. People who know me often say, “You should write a book about that.” Some day…
As Managing Editor, Emily Owens is responsible for guiding our projects through each step of development and production. Once Michelle called her the “book baby midwife,” and she really couldn’t have picked a better compliment. Emily enjoys trimming language down to its most concise and meaningful form, getting the words just right; but the real goal is to leave no trace while editing – only to better reveal the meaning of the writer.
With our design team, Emily cultivates the look and feel of our books, ensuring both the content and design are accessible to target audiences. Previously part of Mslexia, a UK-based women’s writing magazine, Emily has pretty much always been involved with literary journals and publishing. She adores catching our authors’ excitement and supporting them on the publishing journey.
In her spare time, Emily is the editor and founder of Palm-Sized Press, co-leads a local fiction writing group, and enjoys a number of nerdy TV shows. Although originally from Atlanta, Emily called the UK home for nearly seven years, and is always a little bit homesick for the Toon. When she’s not geeking out over a good font or InDesign file, she argues with MadCap Flare.
I taught myself: InDesign in college, based on my knowledge of PageMaker and a few tips from the newspaper editor.
I like to imagine editing: like driving a Zamboni, smoothing everything out. Well, maybe at least in the last pass!
I’m an Illustrator and Editorial Assistant from Atlanta, Georgia who has been with How2Conquer since 2020. I spend my free time the same way I spend my workday – reading, drawing, and nitpicking for quality! I spend every day jazzed that a lingering comic book obsession has magically transmuted itself into my job.
How2Conquer operates by my personal belief that nonfiction books can and should be visual works, even and especially when they are written for adult learners.
I taught myself: How to draw – my formal education is in Economics!
I like to imagine Illustration: As a faithful companion to the reader’s own imagination.
Charlotte Bleau catches things others might miss, and as one of our Editorial Assistants, she is an expert at finding typos and incongruities in our projects. Charlotte’s proactive attitude means she’s always ready to jump in and lend a hand, or work to make a process more efficient, so she’s usually juggling a variety of tasks and projects. Emily refers to her as her “wing lady,” a title which she is honored to receive. Charlotte tends to keep track and take care of the minute details, and the team is eternally grateful.
As a former English and Women’s Studies double-major, Charlotte cares deeply about accessibility and was first drawn to How2Conquer’s mission to help people feel empowered through books designed to help them learn new skills quickly and masterfully. She believes reading is an essential human experience, and frankly doesn’t believe that anyone doesn’t like to read – they just haven’t found a book they love yet.
When she’s off the clock, you can find Charlotte hanging out with her beloved (read: spoiled) dogs and baking goodies the entire team wishes were for us.
I taught myself: how to bake, though I feared the oven until my early twenties. (Ever burned your hand while making a frozen pizza?) I even made a wedding cake last year!
I like to imagine project management: like assembling a quilt. Picking out the fabric can be the hardest part, just like starting with a blank page. Piece by piece, it all comes together, and you can always go back and fix mistakes.
Our mission is to connect subject experts with the subject curious through empowering nonfiction books.
We believe in the transformative power of words. Story is a powerful tool for conveying nuance and exhibiting ideas in action, and our authors and their work is at the heart of what we do.
We are driven by curiosity, and we know many of our readers share our desire to learn new things and conquer new skills. We strive to create a working environment where our team members can innovate independently and collaboratively, as well as continue to grow personally and professionally.
Our processes and all that we do are built around a commitment to quality, clarity, and beauty. Perfection is only a static destination, and chasing it can be paralyzing; precision is about being careful and exact, and it’s a sustainable path that leads to progress.
We believe publishing should be an industry where anyone can tell their story and find themselves in the content they read. We are dedicated to making all kinds of knowledge accessible to anyone curious and dedicated enough to seek it, whether you’re holding a print book, using a screen reader, or listening to an audiobook.